This I Believe

Kodjovi - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on May 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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To Fly to a Better World, Dream and Action are our Wings

Looking at how our world is going, several persons opt for pessimist attitude upon the future. No matter how awful, painful and scary this future seems to be, I am sure we need dream and action as two wings to fly to a better future.

When I hear suicide news, I can understand what had happened to someone who ends up making that decision. However, I am still certain that this person must have become confused either his or her dreams and actions. The history of humanity gives us examples of men and women who didn’t give up in their battles for surviving or for a better future. I remember Martin Luther King Junior, Nelson Mandela fighting several decades ago for equal rights among Blacks and Whites. I also remember women like Melody Drnach, Betty Goldstein that had endless suffered for women’s dignity. In their struggles, they didn’t give up. Otherwise, they couldn’t be appointed nowadays as examples. Although their dreams might have been meaningless to their contemporaries, they concretized them through their actions.

Moreover, when I witness the damage of natural and merciless disasters such as the Tsunami, and Katrina, I can read on the faces of thousands innocent victims: the future is uncertain. I believe if they had had to choose where to be before these disasters, no one would have chosen either Indonesia or New Orleans.

Furthermore, the sad images of Darfour, September 11, War in Iraq, and suicide bombings that we are daily fed with by the media. Even without having been in those areas where defenseless children and hopeless families are endlessly traumatized with merciless artillery, my heart is still moved with pity and compassion; and my eyes are filled with tears at their sight. You and I could have been part of them: victims of natural disasters and armaments mainly caused by human beings. Unfortunately, some always think: “My family and I are okay!”

But for how long shall we keep looking at just our own interests and let others be destroyed or participate passively in that destruction? Certainly, it isn’t impossible to live in a world without Tsunamis, and hurricanes, if we respect our ecosystem. I am convinced, it isn’t too late to hope to live in a world where guns won’t be part of children’s daily life, where families, nations, and religions will accept each other and live in peace. Such a dream needs to be concretized. Therefore, I always do whatever possible to protect our ecosystem even though I am not as great as David Brower or Ursula Goodenough. Far from being Karol Wojtyla or Mahatma Gandhi, I always try to spread peace around me.

I believe that our dreams must lead us to concrete actions for a better personal and communal life. I want it to be clear. Instead of actions inspired by our personal and egoist ambitions, I mean actions that promote human dignity.